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Swedish police visit Sale
SALE Police Station played host to five Swedish police officers last week, who were particularly impressed by Sale GMP’s Neighbourhood Policing Team (NPT).
The officers are from Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, which is similar to Manchester in size, racial diversity and weather according to the officers.
Pia Borg, a City of Gothenburg councillor, said: “I’d say Manchester is a lot further along in terms of neighbourhood policing.”
Inspector Laura Burgess, of sale NPU, agreed: “We’ve got a 50/50 split between neighbourhood police and response, but it sounds like a lot more focused on response in Sweden.
The officers from both cities agreed that there is a lot of stigma attached to PCSOs, as some feel that all policing should be carried out by ‘real constables’.
However, Inspector Burgess feels that attitudes have changed in Sale: “It’s taken 10 years for us to get to this stage, for people to say they’d be sorry if the PCSO’s left.”
The officers were part of a contingent of 24 visiting NPTs across Greater Manchester and said they were inspired by how neighbourhood policing works in Sale.
Officer Peter Bachenfall said: “Crime prevention isn’t just a police issue, it’s a community interest and it’s important to share problems.”
The officers stayed at GMP headquarters in Sedgley Park and said they were made very welcome during their stay.